Football

Jose Mourinho defends his pursuit of toilet-bound Eric Dier

An urgent trip to the bathroom for Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier led to the surreal sight of the defender running off the pitch during their League Cup match against Chelsea yesterday morning (Singapore time) - with manager Jose Mourinho rushing down the tunnel after him.

Spurs were trailing 1-0 to Timo Werner's goal with 15 minutes to go when Dier raced off the pitch and darted towards the dressing room.

A furious Mourinho followed in close pursuit, as his side were briefly down to 10 men in their fourth-round home clash.

Mourinho soon returned to his dugout and Dier swiftly made it back onto the pitch, helping Tottenham find an equaliser from Erik Lamela, which made it 1-1 to force a penalty shoot-out.

Spurs went on to win 5-4 on penalties, with Dier scoring their first spot-kick.

"Jose wasn't happy but there was nothing I could do about it, nature was calling," explained Dier.

"I heard there was a chance (for Chelsea) while I was off the pitch but thankfully they didn't score."

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho defended his decision to race after Dier down the tunnel but praised the England international for his performance, which came two days after he played 90 minutes in the 1-1 English Premier League draw with Newcastle United.

He was the only outfield player retained in Spurs' line-up.

COMPLETELY DEHYDRATED

"He had to go, he had no chance," Mourinho said of Dier's mad dash for the bathroom. "Maybe it is a normal thing when you are completely dehydrated, which is the case, I had to put pressure on him to get back but he is a great example for everybody."

The hilarious scenario belies the issue of fixture overload. Mourinho's men were playing the second of four games in eight days in three competitions.

"The number of minutes played is dangerous. What I did today with Dier is very dangerous," said Mourinho, suggesting that dehydration could have led to the defender's problem.

Mourinho exchanged heated words with his former player and current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard during the game, but it was the former who had the last laugh as Mason Mount's effort during the shoot-out clipped the post, sending Spurs into the quarter-finals in late December.

Mourinho added that they are hopeful of signing a striker as a back-up for Harry Kane before the transfer window closes on Monday. - REUTERS, AFP

Football